The views expressed below are those of the writer and may not reflect the views of Rejoice Marriage Ministries or the Steinkamps.
Men, has the Lord placed a devotional on your heart that you would like to share with other standers?
Recently, I heard a story on the radio that went… there was a man with a fancy car that crashed into a ravine. The car burned up. He was thrown out of the car, but his arm ripped out from him. The police quickly arrived to see him yelling, “My car my car, my 80 thousand-dollar Mercedes…” The police pointed the man to the bigger problem of his arm missing. The man then screamed, “My Rolex, my Rolex…”
In a recent sermon, the pastor from the church I’ve been going to asked, “Why bother?” That question really stuck with me because I myself am struggling with the question of what does living my life in obedience to God get me? My wife left me for the OM many months ago. I’ve been the primary caregiver of our children since then. We’re divorced and she’s probably married to the OM by now. Why bother standing? We’ve all heard of the saying that nice guys finish last. I think Joseph must’ve asked the same question or felt that way.
Joseph was in charge of Potiphar’s household. It was said that Potiphar’s wife “spoke to Joseph day after day” (Genesis 39:10). I’m sure they developed a relationship, and might even have had a lot of chemistry and intellectual and emotional attraction. Potiphar’s wife, though maybe older, was most likely a beautiful, educated, and highly regarded woman. Joseph could’ve easily reasoned to himself, “Why would I deny myself such pleasure and happiness? Maybe she and I are meant for each other. I’m way better for her than Potiphar. A woman like that deserves someone like me and I deserve someone like her especially with what I went through. Even if it’s wrong, God will forgive me.” How did Joseph respond?
“How then could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9
I think the word “then” in the verse is very key. What has God been to you? Ephesians 4:30 (NLT) says Do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. What would make you care if the Holy Spirit is grieved? How has God blessed you? Don’t think only about the material things like the funny story in the beginning. Remember that Joseph was sold into slavery. I hope you can conclude that WHAT matters is why you bother, and that God matters the most. It matters to be faithful to God.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? Psalm 139:7
I asked my kids recently if they would believe in God if they literally had nothing good in their lives. They said that they would still have Jesus. You hear a lot that God will never leave you or forsake you, but what does that mean? Does it apply to everyone? To me, it’s no matter what I’ve done and how I’ve failed, God’s door is always open to take me back, like the picture you see with the father running towards his prodigal son. That’s my “then.” No but’s, and’s and why’s, God will never leave you or forsake you. If your heart is in the right place in surrender to God, He will always take you back.
When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you…. Deuteronomy 4:30-31
During the holiday season, I pray that you’ll find the “then” (or the Thanksgivings) in your lives so that the thought of breaking God’s heart would be like breaking yours.
Lorden in Colorado